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Several charged in online sex sting

BY PORTSIA SMITH

A month-long undercover investigation resulted in several men being charged with trying to solicit a child for sex online or possessing child pornography.

The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Albemarle County Police Department and the Charlottesville Police Department worked together on a program called Operation Guardian Online, which targets online predators in Virginia.

According to Louisa Detective Patrick Siewert, the online sting led to the arrest of five men on 11 felony warrants, three men were indicted and 17 subpoenas were served to Internet service providers.

The following men are facing charges:

Moore

Shakir A. Moore, 23, of Richmond, three counts of using a communication system to solicit child less than 15 years old for sex.

Dudley

Thomas Jefferson Dudley, 55, of Charlottesville, two counts of using a communication system to solicit child less than 15 years old for sex.

Anderson

Christopher A. Anderson, 22, of Charlottesville, four counts of using a communication system to solicit child less than 15 years old for sex.

Adam Toghill, 32, of Richmond, one  count of using a communication system to solicit child less than 15 years old for sex.

McDaniel

Joseph McDaniel, 26, of Goochland, one  count of using a communication system to solicit child between 15 and 18 years old for sex.

Hopkins

Charles Hopkins, 71, of Louisa, one  count of using a communication system to solicit child between 15 and 18 years old for sex.

Wilz

Richard Wilz, 75, of Louisa, nine counts of possession of child pornography.

Peele

William Peele III, 19, of Mechanicsville, five counts of distribution of child pornography.

“This joint operation illustrates how a pooling of regional resources can increase effectiveness in apprehending online predators,” said Louisa Sheriff Ashland Fortune. “Protecting innocent children is a high priority in Louisa County and we’re very grateful for the additional resources and cooperation of the Albemarle County and Charlottesville City Police Departments.”

To date, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children program, in partnership with the Louisa County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, is responsible for the three highest courtroom sentences in Virginia history for online sexual solicitation of children.

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